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Whilst carrying out the various challenges, the North Sea Check Point (NSCP) project has become aware that there is no ‘data broker’ facility which assists in the valuation of data sets.  Neither data portals nor independent literature give widespread information on the value of the data for particular uses.  In most cases it is incumbent on the user to download the data and then make assessment as to its value.  The evaluation for data being sourced during NSCP challenges is structured against six ‘value criteria’:

  • Contribution
  • Location
  • Price
  • Attributes
  • Delivery
  • Usability

To ensure that this valuation is captured for future use, we are developing a data screening tool based loosely on that provided by 'TripAdvisor' for the travel industry and, as such, we have named it the 'Data Advisor'.  TripAdvisor provides a valuation of hotels for various attributes, such as business trips, romantic destinations, family friendly etc. Crucially, these valuations are provided by the users – it is their perspective, given at a certain time and with their own criteria in mind.  We hope that the Data Advisor, or the concept, could provide a data brokerage service which supports the oft-stated aim of 'collect once, use multiple times'. Our challenge valuations will be captured within the Data Advisor tool and published in a searchable form to serve as use case examples.

The currently developing interface will allow the user to do the following:

  • Search for datasets associated to a particular challenge or challenges at a particular level of valuation.  For example, 'Find all datasets considered suitable for challenge X'.
  • Search for the challenges against which a dataset has been valued, for example, 'For dataset X, find all challenges where the dataset was considered'.
  • View the scoring metrics for each dataset.  This allows the user to view the value criteria the dataset passed or failed and the associated reason.

This concept represents the user’s perspective, a viewpoint often missed when datasets are offered by suppliers. The valuations are the perspectives of individual users  and build to represent a history of  snapshots of user experiences.  As such, this idea represents an ideal opportunity to seed a critical mass of information that can be formulated to become an invaluable, sustainable tool to all potential future data users.